All-natural fitness support.
The promise of CBD for fighting aches and pains and inflammation are making it a go-to supplement for athletes, but not just for post-workout recovery. There are benefits to taking CBD before you perform, too.
Personal trainer and former competitive athlete Tara Laferrara started using a CBD salve as a post-exercise recovery tool and found it so effective, she decided to incorporate it into her regular supplement regimen.
“I know it’s good for more than just specific areas (so) I started taking it daily, orally,” she says. “I’ve added it into my life and it feels like just another thing I do every day for overall health.”
Our bodies crave balance.
CBD works by stimulating the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in an array of processes, including mood, appetite, metabolism, stress, and sleep. CBD’s role in enhancing internal harmony is what makes it just as effective before workouts as after.
Studies show cannabidiol is a vasorelaxant, which means it eases tension in veins and arteries so blood can flow more freely — and who couldn’t use more a little more of that free-flowing feeling during a long run or killer spin class?
CBD also reduces blood pressure, so you can extend your workout without the typical stress and fatigue. And because CBD stays in the body for several hours, it can also help stave off the soreness you might feel later.
Like many athletes, Laferrara uses CBD throughout the day to sustain the balancing benefits. Besides the sublingual tincture she takes every morning, she might have a CBD-infused snack after exercising or soak in a CBD-medicated bath before bed.
Ease performance anxiety.
For fitness expert Bryan Pettit, the mental benefits of CBD are as important as the physical. He says daily use of a sublingual tincture has not only relieved the pain from an old chronic-use injury, it speeds his post-workout recovery time and keeps him relaxed and focused in the gym and on the job.
“I definitely get more anxious without it than I do when I use it,” he says, “which proved to me that it’s not a placebo.”
That calming effect makes CBD great for quieting game-day jitters before a competition.
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Professional athletes are among CBD’s biggest supporters.
Beyond the exercise benefits, the compound is an all-natural alternative to narcotic medications.
Retired pro hockey player Riley Cote has been a consumer for years with “nothing but positive” experiences. Cote started using CBD to prevent and relieve the potential damage of a career’s worth of hockey fights, but ended up discovering broader lifestyle effects.
“I quickly realized it wasn’t just helping with my brain health, but it also added another dimension to my sleep, and its subtle calming nature helped with my anxiety,” he told Men’s Health.
The former Philadelphia Flyers player is such a believer in CBD’s healing powers that he advocates for it through Athletes for Care, an organization that supports research and education about the health issues that face pro athletes.
NBA player Paul Pierce has known for decades about CBD’s calming powers: He used it to ease anxiety and PTSD after a violent attack in 2000. The former Boston Celtics star recently introduced a line of CBD vapes with a nod to his on-court nickname: The Truth.
“People who know me know that I bring consistency and reliability – I’m nicknamed The Truth for a reason,” Pierce says. “One CBD came into my life, it really changed a lot of things I was doing, and it really helped me long-term.”
As of last year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency allows the use of CBD, though THC remains banned. And the NFL still bans all cannabis use, though several retired players are vocal supporters of CBD.
Joe Montana invested in cannabis in part because he believes it has a role in the fight against opiate addiction. Heisman trophy winner and former NFL running back Ricky Williams is such an ardent fan of the plant that he created his own cannabis company last year. And MMA fighter Rampage Jackson says CBD changed his life.
“I take my CBD supplements every day,” he told Yahoo Finance. “I do the bath bombs, the creams. I do it all. I was skeptical at first, but it works.”